Spin Cycle: Y’all are unhinged

This week's laundry includes time trialling pants and jerseys resembling bus seats.

Jonny Long
by Jonny Long 21.06.2024 Photography by
Victor Lafay, Visma-Lease a Bike, Cor Vos
More from Jonny +

Spin Cycle is Escape Collective’s news digest, published every Monday and Friday. You can read it on this website (obviously) or have it delivered straight to your inbox.


Welcome back to Spin Cycle, Escape Collective’s news digest.

As we edge closer to the Florence Grand Départ, there is the delight of those who’ve had their ticket stamped for a Tour de France participation and those who will struggle to watch it on television, knowing or believing they should have been there.

We’ll of course be present, having passed the rigorous vetting procedure which includes proving your ability to spend three weeks dozing off to the buzzsaw snoring tendencies of Iain Treloar and the patriotic country music car ride playlists of Caley Fretz. Forget watts per kilo, facing these sorts of obstacles are where the Tour can truly be won or lost.

No room for Froome

The Tour de France squads are coming in thick and fast now, with maybe the biggest headline being Chris Froome has not been selected for Israel-Premier Tech. It’s not necessarily a shock, probably even to Froome himself by this point.

We’ll have to wait and see if we get another “I was ready for the Tour” YouTube video extravanganza, but in the meantime the four-time champion is continuing to throw himself into the slightly depressing world of ✨SponCon💫 with this latest number.

Elsewhere, Jayco-AlUla are opting for a three-leader strategy between Simon Yates, Michael Matthews and Dylan Groenewegen, while Tadej Pogačar’s UAE Team Emirates is rocking up with one of the strongest squads in recent Tour memory.

Visma-Lease a Bike are undoubtedly a very close second, with Jonas Vingegaard and Wout van Aert both being officially announced as fit enough to take the start line. But in the absence of any real drama, the media has been ready to fill in the gaps and manufacture some of its own.

“Y’all are unhinged wtf,” was Matteo Jorgenson’s response to the Wielerflits boys suggesting the possibility that if Jonas Vingegaard ends up not quite being up to yellow jersey contention this Tour, the two-time reigning champion could work for the American.

One sad bit of news is that Lidl-Trek’s Tao Geoghegan Hart, who seemingly can’t catch a break, will not be on the start line as he’ll be sidelined for longer than expected after fracturing a rib in a crash at the Critérium du Dauphiné and also suffering from illness after testing positive for COVID-19.

In more sad news …

Kit’s (sad) Olympic corner 😓

The Olympic Games are now close enough that national road and time trial squads are going from ‘rumoured’ to ‘confirmed’ – unfortunately for Richard Carapaz – and while we’re not going to announce every lineup as they come in, there are some that may earn a mention. For instance, Mathieu van der Poel will be supported in the road race by Daan Hoole and Dylan van Baarle (so long as the latter is back to fitness after his Dauphiné crash) in an all-in bid for gold for the world champion, while the Dutch women’s team might be even stronger, with Demi Vollering, Marianne Vos, Lorena Wiebes and Ellen van Dijk headed for Paris.

That said, like Van Baarle, TT specialist Van Dijk is one of those whose participation has been cast in doubt having picked up a fairly serious injury at this relatively late stage. Van Dijk is determined to cap off her ankle break recovery with a triumphant return to the Olympics, so watch this space.

In devastating news for British track fans, someone who will very sadly not make the trip across the Channel is Katie Archibald who has dislocated her ankle, broken her tibia and fibula, and ripped two ligaments off the bone in a freak accident tripping on a step in her garden at home. Since making her elite debut in 2013, the Scot has built up a terrific medal haul, with no less than 28 golds across the Olympics, Commonwealth, World and European Championships – she’s an all-time record holder in the latter with 20 golds to her name.

The 2024 Olympics would have been her third Games, and she would almost certainly have been a keystone member of the GB track team for the third straight Olympiad, especially in the Team Pursuit in which she won gold in Rio, and is reigning world champion with her teammates Elinor Barker, Josie Knight, Anna Morris and Megan Barker. It’s a huge blow, but to no one more than Katie herself, to whom we send all the very best for a speedy recovery!

by Kit Nicholson

Feed Zone 🥖

✍️ Simon Yates is apparently off to Visma-Lease a Bike next season; we have more on this story here.

🙏 The founder of consumer credit company Cofidis and the cycling team that bears its name, François Migraine, has died aged 79.

🇪🇸 The 2026 Tour de France Grand Départ will be hosted by Barcelona; more here.

🧠 Cofidis rider Kirstie van Haaften will undergo brain surgery this week due to an unspecified medical condition.

🇨🇭 Having won three of the four stages, Demi Vollering (SD Worx-Protime) sealed the overall victory at the Tour de Suisse. Abby Mickey has more here.

📅 The UCI has moved the transfer window to the end of the season and introduced harsher penalties for contract breaches. Dane Cash has more on this story here.

🤯 The Vuelta a Colombia featured an 88 km climb this week, averaging 4.3%.

💪 Veronica Ewers (EF Education-Cannondale) will take the rest of the season off in order to recover from RED-S.

😲 Anna van der Breggen will return to racing in 2025 with SD Worx-Protime. Abby Mickey has more here.

⏱️ Here is a selection of your new national time trial champions. Italy: Filippo Ganna, Vittoria Guazzini. Netherlands: Daan Hoole, Riejanne Markus. Belgium: Tim Wellens, Lotte Kopecky. France: Bruno Armirail, Audrey Cordon-Ragot. Great Britain: Josh Tarling, Anna Henderson. Slovenia: Matej Mohorič, Urška Žigart. Norway: Søren Wærenskjold, Katrine Aalerud. Ireland: Eddie Dunbar, Fiona Mangan. Switzerland: Stefan Küng, Elena Hartmann.

👋 Romain Bardet has renewed for an extra year with DSM Firmenich-PostNL but has announced that 2025 will be his last year as a professional. The French will race his final Tour de France this summer, before tackling the Giro d’Italia next year with the 2025 Critérium du Dauphiné being his last-ever WorldTour-level race.

🇷🇺 Despite being approved by the IOC to compete under a neutral flag, Aleksandr Vlasov has decided for “sporting reasons” not to compete at the 2024 Paris Olympics Games.

💰 Jasper Philipsen has extended with Alpecin-Deceuninck until 2028.

Ruling in Hessmann doping case 👨‍⚖️

Finally, German anti-doping (NADA) has ruled in the case against Michel Hessmann, the Visma-Lease a Bike rider who was suspended by the team after, in the team’s words, “a minimal amount of Chlortalidone was found in his urine during an out of competition control on 14 June 2023.”

According to Visma Lease a Bike’s statement, NADA has concluded it’s plausible Hessmann took a contaminated medicine such as paracetamol, ibuprofen or naproxen. However, NADA also states it believes the risk of contaminated drugs lies with the athlete, and therefore proposes the minimum possible suspension of four months, with three of those months having already been served retroactively. Hessmann has accepted this ruling, will finish the final month of his suspension, after which point Visma-Lease a Bike says it will discuss with their rider “how to proceed,” as the 23-year-old’s contract running out at the end of the year.

Cycling on TV 📺

Saturday June 22nd

Spanish National Championships – Elite Women’s Road Race
(05:00-07:00 ET/10:00-12:00 BST/19:00-21:00 AEST) Eurosport/Discovery+🇬🇧

French National Championships – Elite Women’s Road Race
(06:30-09:00 ET/11:30-14:00 BST/20:30-23:00 AEST) Eurosport/Discovery+🇬🇧

Italian National Championships – Elite Women’s Road Race
(09:45-11:15 ET/14:45-16:15 BST/23:45-01:15 AEST) Eurosport/Discovery+🇬🇧

Mountain bike

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, Crans Montana – Elite Men’s and Women’s XCC
(06:30-08:30 ET/11:30-13:30 BST/20:30-22:30 AEST) Eurosport/Discovery+🇬🇧, Max 🇺🇸, FloBikes 🇨🇦, Stan Sport 🇦🇺

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, Crans Montana – Men’s U23 XCO
(09:25-11:00 ET/14:25-16:00 BST/23:25-01:00 AEST) Eurosport/Discovery+🇬🇧, Max 🇺🇸, FloBikes 🇨🇦, Stan Sport 🇦🇺

Sunday June 23rd

British National Championships – Elite Women’s Road Race
(03:35-08:20 ET/08:35-13:20 BST/17:35-22:20 AEST) Eurosport/Discovery+🇬🇧

Spanish National Championships – Elite Men’s Road Race
(06:30-08:30 ET/11:30-13:30 BST/20:30-22:30 AEST) Eurosport/Discovery+🇬🇧

French National Championships – Elite Men’s Road Race
(08:15-11:00 ET/13:15-16:00 BST/22:15-01:00 AEST) Eurosport/Discovery+🇬🇧

British National Championships – Elite Men’s Road Race
(08:20-13:00 ET/13:20-18:00 BST/22:20-03:00 AEST) Eurosport/Discovery+🇬🇧

Italian National Championships – Elite Men’s Road Race
(09:45-11:45 ET/14:45-16:45 BST/23:45-01:45 AEST) Eurosport/Discovery+🇬🇧

Mountain bike

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, Crans Montana – Women’s U23 XCO
(03:55-05:30 ET/08:55-10:30 BST/17:55-19:30 AEST) Eurosport/Discovery+🇬🇧, Max 🇺🇸, FloBikes 🇨🇦, Stan Sport 🇦🇺

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, Crans Montana – Elite Men’s and Women’s XCO
(05:30-10:30 ET/10:30-15:30 BST/19:30-00:30 AEST) Eurosport/Discovery+🇬🇧, Max 🇺🇸, FloBikes 🇨🇦, Stan Sport 🇦🇺

Monday June 24th

No live racing …

Pants of the week 🩲

Victor Lafay shared a photo of French compatriot Bruno Armirail preparing for his victorious national time trial tilt wearing just his boxers. Even more fun, they are pants featuring the video game series Raving Rabbids. Or, to use their French name that Bruno will know them by: Lapins Crétins.

And finally …

Some Friday vibes to leave you with that will hopefully restore your faith in humanity a bit. Watch the mayor of Quebec thoroughly dismantle one citizen’s demand that cyclists be taxed. It’s glorious stuff.

Mailbag 📬

“You surely cannot put out this week’s newsletter without an analysis of the layered, bizarre Visma-Lease a Bike TDF team announcement image from Instagram,” writes Marissa Newhall, then going on to provide her own analysis so we don’t have to.

“Where to begin? The difference in the card sizes! Juuuust big enough to be noticeable. The way Vingegaard is staring towards Sepp, on his slightly more prominent card. Wout staring into space. All five supporting actors staring off to the left. For God’s sake, what are they all looking at??! Are they suspects from Clue? It’s like a series of haunted paintings from Hogwarts. I expect them to come to life at any moment.”

The memes have been great too, as people realise the special jerseys look a lot like the seat pattern on various public transport.

🧺 Send us yer laundry pics

“My other submission from another offshore platform,” writes in Wahyudi Widodo, attaching today’s featured laundry machine. “This time it’s on the Tasman Sea off the coast of New Plymouth, New Zealand. Water is about 120 m deep and the weather is arctic this time of year. I can only open one door as the other is running. They’re running 24 hours so it’s a bit tricky to see both of them offline. These two work real hard and are in contention for the laundry machine world championship.”

As always, we are accepting your laundry photos (especially ones with the doors open so we can Photoshop riders inside the drum) to star in Spin Cycle. Either send them via the Discord or shoot me an email: [email protected]

Until next time …

That’s all folks! Thanks to Wahyudi Widodo, Marissa Newhall, Phil Long and Kit Nicholson for contributions to today’s edition and a big thank you to all of you who have signed up already as Escape Collective founding members. If you haven’t there is no time like the present. To smooth the process just click this link here and hit the Join Today button in the top right of the page.

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